By the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, a stunning historical novel - the tale of a traumatised soldier on a journey in search of peace, which turns into a nail-biting hunt to the death.
By the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, a stunning historical novel with the grip of a thriller, written in richly evocative, luminous prose.
One rain-swept February night in 1809, an unconscious man is carried into a house in Somerset. He is Captain John Lacroix, home from Britain's disastrous campaign against Napoleon's forces in Spain.
Gradually Lacroix recovers his health, but not his peace of mind - he cannot talk about the war or face the memory of what happened in a village on the gruelling retreat to Corunna. After the command comes to return to his regiment, he sets out instead for the Hebrides, with the vague intent of reviving his musical interests and collecting local folksongs.
Lacroix sails north incognito, unaware that he has far worse to fear than being dragged back to the army: a vicious English corporal and a Spanish officer are on his trail, with orders to kill. The haven he finds on a remote island with a family of free-thinkers and the sister he falls for are not safe, at all.
Praise for Andrew Miller's writing:
Every so often a historical novel comes along that is so natural, so far from pastiche, so modern, that it thrills and expands the mind - Sunday Telegraph on PURE
His writing is vivid, precise and constantly surprising. It reads easily, suspends life until it is read and is a source of wonder and delight - Sunday Times
Miller writes like a poet, with a deceptive simplicity - his sentences and images are intense distillations, conjuring the fleeting details of existence with clarity. - Guardian
A writer of very rare and outstanding gifts - Independent on Sunday
His startling sentences, both beautiful and distressing, can lodge themselves in your brain. - Daily Telegraph
One of our most skilful chroniclers of the human heart and mind - Sunday Times
[His prose] compels, feeling urgent in a way that much contemporary fiction does not. - New York Times Book Review
Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy.
It has been followed by Casanova, Oxygen, which was shortlisted for the both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, One Morning Like A Bird, Pure, which won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2011, and The Crossing.
Andrew Miller's novels have been published in translation in twenty countries. Born in Bristol in 1960, he has lived in Spain, Japan, France and Ireland, and currently lives in Somerset.